Are you a fan of the V8 engine? If so, who can blame you? After all, the V8 is synonymous with raw power and remains the performance choice for not a few drivers.
However, the V8 engine appears on its way out. Not because of electrification, although that will most certainly become a factor years from now. Instead, manufacturers have figured out that boosting smaller engines, such as the sixes, produces more power and improved efficiencies over the traditional V8.
Shrinking Pool of V8 Engines
Sports cars, full-size pickup trucks, and large SUVs are among the models that have held out the longest, but that is changing. Indeed, the best-selling engine for the Ford F-150 is now a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. In more recent years, GM has placed a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine in its full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. The Ford engine matches or beats its V8 engines, while the GM engine is stronger than any naturally aspirated V6 on the market.
Nissan is preparing to jump on the boosted bandwagon with its full-size Armada SUV. According to Automotive News, when the next-generation model debuts in late 2023 it will offer a twin-turbocharged V6 engine. We don’t have access to the site because it lives behind a paywall, but we know that Nissan has three V6 engines that can easily be upgraded for the Armada.
These engines displace 3.5, 3.7, and 3.8 liters. We will rule out the middle choice because it is the older of the three and is used primarily with Infiniti models. The smaller engine seems most likely, although the larger one is the newest. Regardless, we see this engine working with a 10-speed automatic transmission. That combination is optimized for performance and efficiency.
The 2022 Nissan Armada is one of the least efficient models available on the market. Indeed, this one earns 14 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon on the highway for a combined 16 miles per gallon. And that’s with rear-wheel drive. Drop the mpg by 1 and you have the number for four-wheel drive.
We cannot say what the new engine would deliver, but most likely it would approach the combined 20 mpg. That would place the Nissan Armada in good company, namely the Ford Expedition and the Toyota Sequoia.
Performance and Towing
The other side of the new engine coin has everything to do with performance. The Armada makes a robust 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. This engine works with a 7-speed automatic transmission to send power to the wheels.
With a boosted V6, the new engine should approach the current horsepower numbers, while exceeding the torque. Thus, the enhanced performance would become more apparent when towing or under hard acceleration. The efficiencies would become apparent when the engine is not working under full throttle.
The current Armada has a 9,000-pound towing capacity. The new engine most likely will match or slightly exceed that number. Therefore, the lighter and boosted engine should match or exceed the current V8 in each of the important measuring categories.
The Nissan Armada SUV and Titan Pickup Truck
We expect to learn more about the 2024 Nissan Armada in the coming months. We may also find out if Nissan intends to continue with its Titan pickup truck. Neither model has been a strong seller for Nissan, but offering them side-by-side keeps customers interested and reduces costs especially if the new powertrain finds its way to the pickup truck. In any case, this is one more example of where a V8 engine is no longer needed with a boosted V6 serving as the replacement.
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